Newest Review: ... of a tiger and there is plenty of information written on the box and the label. Tiger Balm has quite a strong smell, but this isn't a bad... more
I must have been balmy not to have tried this before
Member Name: alyson29
Date: 13/04/13, updated on 15/10/13 (145 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to use and highly effective
Disadvantages: None for me
I have been unfortunate to suffer with headaches for the majority of my lifetime and whilst I would previously describe the majority as being manageable, for the past few months they have worsened and as a result, have prevented me from getting on with my day. Thankfully, a visit to both my GP and optician ruled out anything sinister with the diagnosis being tensions headaches, which are triggered by stress and it was recommended that I take painkillers as and when required. Whilst I generally find that a dispersible aspirin will shift the pain, I was taking far too many for my liking and I was eager to seek an alternate product that contained natural ingredients.
It was many years ago that I learned of Tiger Balm; a product that has been around for over a century and was created by a Chinese herbalist named Aw Chu Kin. However, as I had previously tried a couple of natural remedies for pain relief with neither assisting me, I totally dismissed Tiger Balm. It was only when I carried out further research a few days prior to my purchase that I discovered that the ointment is one of the world's best known pain relievers and is effective for an array of aches and pains. I was surprised to learn that there are so many varieties of Tiger Balm where I opted for the Red Ointment with this review discussing my experience.
I purchased a 19g jar, which is contained within a brightly coloured cardboard box displaying the familiar running tiger together with a number of eye-catching Chinese symbols. The box is hygienically sealed, so I had the assurance that nobody had tested the product prior to purchase. On removing the hexagon shaped glass jar from the outer packaging my eyes were drawn to the golden coloured circular screw top lid, which is embossed with further Chinese symbols together with the tiger. As the product was a new concept for me, I welcomed the fact that it was accompanied by an easy to read A6 double sided leaflet, which provides a considerable amount of useful information together with directions for use.
On removing the lid I was met with the most captivating aroma, which reminded me of the festive season due to the cinnamon and whilst it was prominent, it wasn't overpowering. The balm offers a reddish/brown appearance and as I gently glided the tip of one of my fingers along the surface, the aroma of cloves became evident. I had anticipated the balm to offer a consistency similar to that of Vaseline petroleum jelly, which I expected to witness on the tip of my finger.
Applying Tiger Balm
Whilst it seemed that no product had transferred onto my finger other than for a slight sheen, as directed I gently rubbed my finger onto each of my temples. After approximately sixty seconds I was able to witness a slight coolness, which I would describe as comforting; the sensation of which reminded me of Bio Freeze albeit on a far lesser scale. The coolness rapidly transformed into a delicate warming sensation, which offered further comfort in addition to assisting me to relax. The balm seemed to melt into my skin without leaving any stickiness or residue, which pleasantly surprised me, particularly as I had expected it to nestle on the surface. In addition, the aroma became more delicate and vanished after an hour or so, which I found most favourable, particularly as I did not wish to be emitting a strong cinnamon/clove scent especially when I was outside of my home.
Despite having read such positive comments, I really did not anticipate that a balm containing natural ingredients would be effective enough to shift the agonising pain in my head. However, after approximately ten minutes of application I began to witness gradual signs of relief and whether this was due to the fact that the aroma had assisted to relax me or that it was the product working its magic, I really did not know, but after around twenty five minutes of application, the pain in my head had totally vanished.
I continued to use the Tiger Balm when I experienced further headaches and again, experienced relief, which I must admit exceeded my expectations. However, I would point out that there have been a few occasions where the pain was not totally alleviated although the balm helped to provide a significant amount of relief. The balm can be used up to three times each day, but the instruction leaflet states that if symptoms persist for more than two weeks or if they worsen, medical advice should be sought.
As I suffer with lower back pain following a car accident from several years ago, I have on quite a number of occasions, applied a small amount to see whether it would assist in managing my pain. Whilst the results were not as effective as when used on my temples, the balm took the edge off my pain enabling me to obtain some comfort for a few hours. As the product is of a reddish/brown I was concerned about potential staining to my clothes, but I cannot speak of any problems although I would not recommend wearing any light coloured items when using.
Ingredients and other information
I would not normally provide a list of ingredients in my review, but I feel it appropriate in relation to Tiger Balm, so the following information has been extracted from the accompanying leaflet. 11% w/w of camphor, 10% w/w of levomenthol, 7 % w/w of cajuput oil, 5% w/w of clove oil, cinnamon oil, dementholised mint oil, yellow soft paraffin and hard paraffin.
My only concern in relation to applying the balm is that it would cause an outbreak of spots, particularly as my skin can be described as T-zone. However, I experienced no such issues neither did I suffer with the one side effect, as described in the leaflet where Tiger Balm can occasionally cause irritation, such as rashes or contact dermatitis. The product is unsuitable for children under the age of two years and excessive usage should be avoided if pregnant or breast feeding.
I cannot recommend Tiger Balm highly enough and my only regret is that I didn't make a purchase when I first learned of it. Due to the reasons discussed above, it receives a five star rating from me. Whilst a 19g jar may seem a little expensive at £3.40 with my purchase being made at Boots, only a tiny amount is needed for each application and despite repeatedly using my jar, I still have a considerable amount remaining.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.
Summary: An effective and natural method of relieving pain